Trump is hoping to jail ‘significant numbers of reporters’ in a second term: report
President of the United States Donald Trump speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

The former president is allegedly planning a significant escalation in his war against reporters if he is returned to the White House, according to an unnamed source who spoke to Rolling Stone.

"Donald Trump ended his pre-midterm rally blitz in disgusting fashion, calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “an animal,” championing the death penalty, and giddily imagining the prison rape of the journalist who reported on the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade," Rolling Stone reported. "The rally on Monday wasn’t the first time Trump imagined journalists being raped in prison. He laid out the same fantasy at a rally in Texas last month, saying the reporter would give up the identity of the leaker as soon as they realize they are 'going to be the bride of another prisoner very shortly.' The audience burst out in laughter, just as they did Monday night in Ohio."

After midnight on the morning of election day, Trump said he would be "making a very big announcement" at Mar-a-Lago next Tuesday.

"This year, as Trump has privately strategized about what a second term, potentially starting in 2025, could look like, he’s begun occasionally soliciting ideas from conservative allies for how the U.S. government and Justice Department could go about turning his desires — for brutally imprisoning significant numbers of reporters — into reality," Rolling Stone reported. "Several months ago, the former president briefly asked a small gathering of his allies and at least one of his attorneys about what would have to be done to make that authoritarian, First Amendment-shredding vision a norm, according to a source who was present."

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Trump reported cited other countries doing it as rationalization.

"The other countries here are un-free authoritarian states, the kind for which Trump has long showed admiration. North Korea does not tolerate free expression. China and Russia are well known for jailing journalists. Viktor Orban, the Trump-endorsed autocratic ruler of Hungary, has been targeting reporters, as well. Trump has repeatedly made clear he wants to reshape America into a similarly brutal, fascist state," the magazine reported. "Trump hasn’t just recently started wondering about how he might be able to jail journalists should he reclaim the White House in 2024. He was wondering about it almost immediately upon arriving there for the first time, as well. The New York Times reported in 2017 that less than a month after Trump took office, he griped to then-FBI Director James Comey about leaks to the media, and told Comey he should consider imprisoning journalists who publish classified information."

During the 2018 midterms, Trump praised Republican Greg Gianforte for assaulting journalist Ben Jacobs. At a campaign rally, Trump acted out the throwing of the reporter and said, "he's my guy" about Gianforte.

"He's a great guy, tough cookie," Trump said.